An Old T. Rex Bone Was Found in North Dakota by Three Boys. It is Now Being Fully Shown by a Museum in Denver

An Old T. Rex Bone Was Found in North Dakota by Three Boys. It is Now Being Fully Shown by a Museum in Denver

They were exploring a fossil-filled area of the North Dakota badlands with their cousin when they came across a T. rex bone sticking out of the ground. It left them “completely speechless.”

At a Zoom news conference on Monday, the three people talked about their find in public. At the same time, workers at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are getting ready to start chipping the fossil out of its rock cast for an exhibit called Discovering Teen Rex. The movie “T.REX,” which is about the find in July 2022, will be released at the same time as the show on June 21.

The trouble began when Kaiden Madsen, who was nine years old at the time, went hiking with his friends Liam and Jessin Fisher, who were seven and ten years old at the time. They were on Bureau of Land Management land near Marmarth, North Dakota. For fun, the boys’ dad, Sam Fisher, likes to go hiking.

“Out there, you never know what you’ll find.” “There are lots of cool rocks, plants, and animals to see,” he said.

Liam Fisher remembered that he and his dad, who was with the three of them, were the ones who first saw the young carnivore’s bone. It was buried in the Hell Creek Formation after it died about 67 million years ago. This is a famous place for paleontologists to play in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. Some of the best-preserved T. rex fossils ever have been found in this rock. Sue is a big hit at the Field Museum in Chicago, and Wyrex is a big deal at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

But at that time, none of them knew that. The bone sticking out of the rock was what Liam called a “chunk-osaurus,” which is a made-up word for fossil pieces that are too small to be recognized.

He still took a picture and showed it to Tyler Lyson, an associate curator of vertebrate fossils at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and a family friend.

At first, Lyson thought it might have been a regular duckbill dinosaur. His plan to start the dig last summer included the boys and their sister Emalynn Fisher, who is now 14.

They knew right away that they had found something more special. Lyson remembered that he and Jessin dug in a place where Lyson thought he might find a neck bone.

Rather than a cervical vertebrae, Lyson said, “we found the lower jaw with a few teeth sticking out of it.” “And seeing these huge tyrannosaurus teeth staring back at you is the most diagnostic thing you could do.”

There was a documentary team from Giant Screen Films there to record the find.

“It was electric.” “You got chills,” Dave Clark, who helped film the video that was later narrated by Sir Sam Neill, who played Owen in Jurassic Park, said.

Liam said his friends didn’t believe him. He said, “They didn’t believe me at all.”

He, Jessin, and Kaiden, who the brothers think of as another brother or sister, called the fossil “The Brothers.”

experts think the dinosaur was 13 to 15 years old when it died because of the size of its leg. It also weighed about 3,500 pounds (1,587.57 kilograms), which is about two-thirds of the size of an adult.

In the end, a Black Hawk helicopter flew the plaster-covered mass to a truck that was ready to take it to the museum in Denver.

Lyson said that more than 100 complete T. rex fossils have been found, but a lot of them are broken up. It’s still not clear how whole this fossil is. Lyson said that they have found a leg, a hip, a pelvis, a couple of tailbones, and a big piece of the head so far.

People will be able to see the workers chip away at the rock. The museum thinks it will take them about a year to finish.

As Lyson put it, “we wanted to share the process of preparing this fossil with the public because it is exciting.”

Jessin, who wants to become a geologist and likes the Jurassic Park movies, has kept looking for fossils. A few days ago, he found a turtle shell.

The other kids should “just put down their electronics and go out hiking,” he told them.

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